(Image courtesy of St. Bonaventure athletics)
By Katie Faulkner
Did the seven-game losing streak crush the confidence of the St. Bonaventure women’s basketball team, or was it a mere stumbling block?
Sophomore guard Imani Outlaw said the losing streak was unexpected. The Atlantic 10 website had previously announced that the team was predicted to finish fourth in the conference this season.
Outlaw acknowledges the lack of consistent effort during the 40 minutes of play as the main reason for dropping seven straight.
“We would have three or four minute droughts where we would play awful,” said the Cincinnati native. “I think if we can just eliminate those droughts we will be better off.”
Any losing streak would surely bring feelings of defeat, but the only solution can be found in the gym.
Individually, the 5’8 Outlaw focused on establishing a better pace to help set the tone early and reduce the amount of turnovers, which is currently at 16 per game as a team.
As a guard known for her physicality around the rim, her mindset to constantly attack the basket was now anticipated throughout the league.
“I’ve worked on my mid-range shot because everyone in the conference knows ’22’ is a driver, so sometimes my drives aren’t there. If I can hit a 15-footer here or there, they’ll have to respect it.”
Outlaw becoming a dual threat on the floor will ultimately force opponents to close out on her, opening things up underneath for the dominant Katie Healy.
Outlaw believes that incorporating a more team-driven mentality will help the team begin to focus on togetherness and unity, a key element they have been lacking.
“As a team we just focused on playing together and playing for one another,” Outlaw said.
With an A-10 record of 2-7, Outlaw’s attitude seemed optimistic. Then again, when doesn’t it?
“I don’t really look at standings or stats. The season is very long and we still have a lot to go,” she said.
The women are set to take on the 15-7 Fordham Rams tomorrow night. Bonaventure fell to Fordham in the semi-finals of the A-10 tournament in the 2013-2014 season.
Outlaw stressed the importance of mental toughness one last time, then sprang from the couch, hurled her backpack over her shoulder and hurried off to practice.
The season isn’t over quite yet.